New backup Eagles quarterback Marcus Mariota has happily agreed to help mentor Jalen Hurts, which is an extremely hypocritical move considering his past.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Marcus Mariota isn’t as bad as Ryan Tannehill when it comes to providing insufficient support to rookie quarterbacks, but it’s still not a good look for him.
Mariota joined Philly earlier this offseason on a one-year, $5 million deal and will serve as Jalen Hurts’ backup after the team declined to renew Gardner Minshew’s contract.
The 29-year-old quarterback recently said he values the opportunity of getting to mentor Hurts this season as Hurts enters the fourth year of his rookie deal. But Atlanta Falcons fans will quickly point out that Mariota is being extremely hypocritical in doing so — where was Mariota’s desire to help the team when the Falcons promoted then-rookie Desmond Ridder to starter in 2022?
From one perspective, Mariota could be throwing shade at Ridder. Last season, Mariota may not have thought Ridder deserved getting playing time over him, and he decided to throw a fit and walk away from the team.
Eagles’ Marcus Mariota has a history of not mentoring young quarterbacks
In Atlanta, Mariota started the first 13 games of the 2022 season before ultimately being benched for third-rounder Desmond Ridder, who started the last four games.
Apparently, one day after Falcons head coach Arthur Smith told Mariota the team was going to move forward with Ridder as the starter, Mariota announced he was taking a hiatus. The official report is that Mariota had a “chronic” knee issue, yet one can’t ignore the coincidental timing of it all.
Last season, Mariota passed for 2,219 yards and recorded 15 touchdowns against nine interceptions, posting a measly 21st-ranked passer rating and 20th-ranked EPA per game.
Now starting a new chapter on the Eagles, Mariota seems to have no problem with working with league MVP candidate Jalen Hurts as Philly tries to replicate its success from 2022.
Why the sudden change of heart? One, Hurts is a more talented and proven signal-caller than Ridder, and Mariota probably respects him more. This also isn’t the rebuilding Falcons squad anymore — the Eagles pose as a serious Super Bowl contender, and Mariota likely realizes he’ll have to carry his own weight and prove himself as a worthy backup.
No one knows what would have happened if former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly was able to draft Mariota all those years ago. What matters is the present-day, in which Mariota is getting a precious chance to vie for a ring this season and knows what’s at stake. So of course, he’s happy to help out.